3 Plead Not Guilty to Robbery, Theft

Three men arrested after a shoot-out with police in Sherman Oaks last week pleaded not guilty in San Fernando Municipal Court Tuesday to charges of armed robbery and grand theft.

Jose Montoya, 43, Gabriel Lopez, 34, and Louis Morillo, 31, were suspects in at least two previous armed robberies and were being followed by detectives Thursday as they drove around Van Nuys and North Hollywood “casing” several markets, police said.

Detectives watched Montoya and Lopez rob at least four customers at Ruffles Hair Dressers on Riverside Drive as Morillo waited at the wheel of the car, which had been stolen earlier in the evening from a Van Nuys auto repair shop, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Spillane said.

Police opened fire on Montoya and Lopez as they left the salon because the two allegedly pointed revolvers at them. Montoya was seriously injured in the exchange, Spillane said.

Spillane said he filed one count of grand theft of an automobile and four counts of armed robbery against each of the men and two counts of assaulting a police officer with a deadly weapon against Lopez and Montoya.


All three are in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, Spillane said. They are scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 2.